About this Show

Religion Ethics Newsweekly

The UN & Muslim Protests; Nonviolent Peace... News/Business. (2012) Haris Tarin, Muslim Public Affairs Council; unarmed civilian peacekeepers monitor cease fire between the Philippine Army and Muslim rebels. New. (CC) (Stereo)

NETWORK

DURATION
00:30:00

RATING

SCANNED IN
Annapolis, MD, USA

SOURCE
Comcast Cable

TUNER
Channel 78 (549 MHz)

VIDEO CODEC
mpeg2video

AUDIO CODEC
ac3

PIXEL WIDTH
528

PIXEL HEIGHT
480

TOPIC FREQUENCY

U.n. 10, Us 6, U.s. 4, Obama 4, Duncan 3, Syria 2, Bob Abernathy 2, Libya 2, Nigeria 2, America 2, Marion 1, Facebook 1, James Michaels 1, Ferdinand Marcos 1, Mel Duncan 1, Moros 1, Romney 1, Smits 1, David Cameron 1, Rowan Williams 1,
Borrow a DVD
of this show
  WHUT    Religion Ethics Newsweekly    The UN & Muslim Protests; Nonviolent Peace...   
   News/Business.  (2012) Haris Tarin, Muslim Public Affairs Council;...  

    September 30, 2012
    8:30 - 9:00am EDT  

8:30am
coming up, an american muslim leader on demands for the u.n. to restrict free speech. also a report on unarmed paid civilian peacekeepers. they seem to be successful, but -- >> you have to remain humble, and this is not a tool that fits every situation and that will rid the world of war. >> plus, how jews experience the joyous holiday of sikut all next week. major funding is provided by
8:31am
the lilian endowment, an indianapolis-based family foundation dedicated to religion, community development and education. additional funding also provided by mutual of america. designing customized, individual and group retirement products. that's why we're you're your retirement company. welcome. i'm bob abernathy. good to have you with us. aas p as protests continued debates were front and center at the opening session of the united nations general assembly in new york. in a strong speech, president obama again condemned the video as an insult to muslims and all americans, but america
8:32am
rejects it. >> given the power and faith and passion that it can inflame, the strongest weapon is not repression, it's more speech. the voices of tolerance that rally against bigotry and lift up the values of understanding and mumpl respect. >> he called on world leaders to speak out forcefully against extremism. >> na brand of politics that pits east against west and south against north and muslims against christians and hindus and jews can't deliver on the promise of freedom. >> many arab and muslim leaders renewed their can calls for a u.n. resolution to banal defamation of religion. egypt's new president morsi said his country respects freedom of expression, but he added not the
8:33am
freedom of expression that deepens ignorance and disregards others. iranian president mahmoud ahmadinejad once again generated controversy in a speech that accused what he called uncivilized zionists of threatening war against his country. protesters outside the u.n. denounced ahmadinejad's continued antisee mitttic language. many jews were upset it on yom kippur. several world leaders urged the u.n. to do more to end the conflict in syria. many warned of a looming crisis facing the nearly 300,000 syrian refuse fgees that pled to neighboring countries. they called for more international aid and said if the fighting doesn't end the number of refugees to rise to
8:34am
700,000 by the end of the year. in addition to emergency aid, u.n. secretary-general moon said a top priority for the international community should be promoting sustainable development that will provide long-term help for poor countries. governor romney sounded similar themes that former president bill clinton. he urged a re-examination of temporary foreign aid. >> we can employ people for a time, but can't sustain the economy for a long term. it can't pull the whole cart, because at some point the money runs out. an assistance program that helps unleash free enterprise can create enduring prosperity. >> the calls at the u.n. for outlawing offensive speech produces strong defenses of such speech not only by president obama but also from leaders in the american muslim community. i want to explore that with kim
8:35am
lawton managing editor of the program and the director of the muslim office of the public affairs council. welcome to you both. >> thank you. >> how are you american muslims trying it to persuade other muslims around the world that putting any kind of limit on free speech is dangerous? >> well, i think the first way we're trying to convince fellow m muslims of this is the fact that the idea of free speech is a foundational part of the koran itself. we don't only believe in terms of americans and our belief in the constitution, but the koran challenges folks to engage in dialogue and in discourse. it challenges people of the same faith and various different faiths as well. so it's foundational to the text of islam, we believe. the koran actually records insults to the prophet mohammad himself and challenges people to
8:36am
engage in the discourse. it's foundational to the constitution and sacred text as well. >> are you getting anywhere with that argument? >> i think we are. we put out several videos in various languages, and they've gotten close to a million views by folks in the muslim world. we've gotten a very positive response, especially from young people who went out onto the streets of cairo and libya to ask for their right to free speech to begin with. >> i've been struck also -- i've been following this debate for it's not just muslim majority countries pushes for these restrictions, but it's an idea that also has traction in some african and african-american countries where people have an idea that religion is somehow difficult and you shouldn't insult religion. in fact, even in western yurm
8:37am
there's some. already it's again the law to deny the holocaust in many european countries. our notion of free speech, especially when it comes to religion, is not shared around the world. >> but is it changing? >> i think it is changing. as the world becomes smaller, we live in a globalized world, and people recognize as president obama said in his speech that someone with a phone camera can cause a stir around the world. we have to be able to adjust. we've got to be able to have a discourse and dialogue when it comes to difficult issues like this rather than take the streets and commit acts of violence. >> i found it interesting american muslims seem to be speaking to two audiences, in fact. on one hand you speak to muslims around the world, and you also speak to american society and trying to say not all muslims are like the people who are in the streets doing violence. has that been a challenge for you all? >> it is a difficult balancing act, but i think people realize that the majority of people out
8:38am
on the streets, they were a very small number. and amongst that small number the ones who committed acts of violence were smaller. as we said earlier in libya, people came out in the thousands in support of the ambassador, in support of our country. >> but there's also some politics in here, isn't there? hard liners in some of these countries, are they not encouraging some of the violence in order to put pressure on these new fragile governments to become hard line themselves? >> absolutely, absolutely. these countries are democracies, and hopefully democracies. there's a vacuum of power and a vacuum of authority in many of these societies. so extremists are taking advantage of this vacuum and power and authority. unfortunately they don't want to see a free democratic libya or egypt or tunisia or pakistan.
8:39am
they want an extremist vision for their societies. we have to stand on the side of the majority to ensure that we marginalize the extremists in those societies and also the extremists who put the film together and promoted the film as well. >> i notice that your organization in the statement really did call on the muslim community to also examine the role of extremism within the muslim community, and that's a theme that president obama talked about this week as well in the u.n. speech where he was a little more forthright than he has been in the past in calling on nations to -- and leaders of nations to deal with extremism in their midst. >> thank you for being with us. >> thank you. >> in the u.s. there's an ongoing debate over the limits of free speech highlighted by two recent events. a federal judge in new orleans temporarily blocked a city
8:40am
ordinance that outlaws preaches on bourbon street after dark. it the law bars people from disseminated social religious or political messages on the street between sunset and sunrise. the american civil liberties union filed suit on behalf of a preacher after members of her ministry were arrested. in new york city a prominent egyptian american blogger was arrested after painting over a controversial subway ad that equates jihad with savagery. the hotly debated ad now in several subway stations urges people to defeat jihad and support israel against, quote, the savage. several muslim and interfaith groups have protested the ads. the sponsors insist they are protected by the first amendment. in other news there was more scholary debate this week over the so-called gospel of jesus's
8:41am
wife. an ancient scrap of papyrus a harvard professor says might be evidence early christians believed jesus was married. the vatican this week called the item a fake and a clumsy forgery. a special church of england panel held three days of closed door meetings to select the next arch bishop of can't bury. spiritual leader of the 78-world member wordwide communion. the new arch bishop will succeed rowan williams who has been in the position since 2002 and is retiring. the nominating panel smits the name of its preferred successor along with an alternate to british prime minister david cameron. the prime minister then gives his selection to queen elizabeth for final approval. in saudi arabia 1,000 nigerian muslim women were detained at the airport after
8:42am
they arrived in the country unaccompanied by men. they were on their way to mecca to perform the pilgrimage to take place next month. saudi arabia requires them to travel with a male escort and is sending the women back to nigeria. the u.s. catholic bishops this week pledged unconditional support for the catholic church in nigeria after a cathedral was bombed there last weekend. the attack is the latest in a up long line of church bombings by the radical islamist group. at least four people were killed and nearly 50 wounded. more than 100 have died in similar attacks in the past year. the catholic bishops say they will urge the state department to do more to stop the violence. around the world the most prominent peacekeepers are 120,000 blue helmeted u.n.
8:43am
soldiers drawn from the armies of dozens of nations. at the same time in other conflict zones and fragile cease-fires, another approach is being tested. it's the use of civilians, paid, unarmed and apparently effective. fred reports from the philippines islands. >> reporter: its lush fields are a food basket for the philippines, but it's a tense, highly militarized place. tens of thousands of people across this indiana-sized island have been forced to flee their homes for camps. on paper there's a cease-fire in the long-running insurgency in the most muslim region of the philippin philippines, a predominantly christian nation. however the threat of spor rad dick fighting is never far away.
8:44am
two days before we got here this 6-year-old child was caught in the crossfire. taking notes on incidents and conditions in the camps are unarmed observers, foreign andle local, with a group called nonviolent peace force. >> families are still there? >> translator: there are still 104 families staying here. we go to our farms during the day but come back here at night. >> reporter: the presence of these monitors and the constant interaction deep inside communities is credited with helping prevent flare-ups, lower the number of skirmishes for the cease-fire. they're praised by the philippines army and the main rebel group that covers the rest. the front's roots lie in a movement by ethnic moros who are muslim. they sought independence, but over the years moderated the demand to greater awe ton my
8:45am
from manila. >> do you consider yourself filipino? >> no, no. by nationality, no. i'm a moro. >> reporter: they have known conflict for centuries, beginning with resistance to the spanish colonyists and the incorporation of the island into the philippine republic. since then migrants have come here, and today those mostly christian settlers outnumber the mostly muslim original islanders by better than 2 to 1. a journalist who wrote a book about it says it's as much about economic inequality as religion. she says much of today's problems trace back to the dictator ferdinand marcos who ruled from 1985 to 1986. >> he instituted a lot of
8:46am
government policies that oppressed the minority muslims, that took them away from the economic and political ties. after that the military really violated human rights from these rebels who wanted to be separate from the republic at this point. >> that sewowed the seeds for radicalization. by the 1990s a regional al qaeda began to thrive. >> it's not growing. they're still confined. that's the success of the security forces in that portion. >> reporter: philippine officials say they've largely defeated it as a military threat helped by u.s. advisers who remain in the region. recent governments have made progress towards a peace treaty
8:47am
offering greautonomy to the mor people. officially there's a cease-fire. between clashes the ground reality is still unsettled. >> the military has set up a camp. does that not give you enough confidence to be staying there at night? >> reporter: back at the displaced persons camp the community leader said armed group ps contins continue to the a threat. a few minutes later they were relaying the citizens' concerns to the philippine military, which is in charge of security. >> some members are suggesting to bring my platoons near. the problem is bringing the military inside the community might cause other problems. we have to study this some more. >> reporter: among the many shortages, trust is a major one. that's a avoid that both sides agree the foreign civilians are
8:48am
filling. >> only an armed civilians protects and monitors would be effective. that's because our people have been traumatized. they only see government working on civilian protection. there is no impartiality. >> the perception is they're neutral to the organizations. >> regardless of their faith? >> regardless of their faith. i think the number is a mixture of hindus, christians and muslims. >> the group is now based in belgium but was started in minneapolis, co-founder mel duncan says his earliest inkling that the concept might work came in the '80s. he was living in nicaragua where
8:49am
he went as a peace activist during the civil war there. >> what we found over a seven-year period is none of those villages were attacked when there was an international presence. this was in a period of a war where 50,000 people were being killed. >> refining and putting the idea into practice took years of studying similar attempts, he says, including an ill-fated one during bosnibosnia's civil war. >> in the mid-'90s there was an effort in sarajevo where people from europe were recruited and many not trained and came into a situation where they, in fact, drew artillery into the areas where they were trying to protect. they made a lot of problems in terms of having to be taken out. >> in contrast monitors hired by
8:50am
nonviolence peace force are full time and salaried, about $1500 per month. they come to stay, hire local staffers and work with local civic groups. he is trained as a lawyer in india and says it makes a big difference. >> you can see there's no fences or guards outside our office, despite the fact where we're based is considered to be a dangerous place by most filipinos. because we live in a community that supports our work, i think we draw a lot of security from that. >> long before they deploy, the group spends months with the conflict and forging partnerships with citizen groups. >> we have to engage with local partners who can understand things in ways that internationals will never be able. war is complicated and so is peace, and we're always learning at this. that's -- we have to remain humble, and this is not a tool
8:51am
that fits every situation and that will rid the world of war. >> the group's first deployment was in sri lanka during the civil war where duncan said it wast wast was particularly successful in rescuing child soldiers. >> we certainly could be -- provide effective protection in m myanmar, perhaps in syria as the conflict unfolds. >> nonviolent peace force's annual budget of $7.5 million comes from the u.n. and governments from several developed nations, though not the u.s. duncan says not yet. among its merits could be the price tag. duncan says an unarmed civilian
8:52am
costs about half what the u.n. pays to deploy a typical armed, blue helmeted soldier. finally, this coming week following the high holidays comes the joyous jewish holiday of sikut. families built temporary shelters in which they gather for meals and for some where they sleep as well. our guide to sikut is rabbi james michaels of the hebrew home of greater washington, d.c. >> the book tells us that we should remember that god allowed us to live in temporary shelters, the suka when we lived in the desert for 40 years. we lived in booths knowing we
8:53am
would move from place to place. from one year to the next we lived in different areas. it's to remind us of that experience. the basic requirement is that the roof must be artificial and have more shade to light but must be open to the elements. the walls can be made out of anything. as you can see in the background, mine are made of canvas, and these are very popular. there's all sorts of decorations, some plastic fruit. some people will put up real fruit and vegetables up there. people put christmas lights in it. when my wife was growing up, she would take all the holiday cards they received for the new year, and they would cut out the pictures and hang them up. i've heard of people sleeping in the sika, it's not required but some do it. the important thing is eating
8:54am
and sharing of meals, because that is the basic activity we do in our homes. one of the things that we do is take what we call the four species, which is a palm branch, sprigs of willows, sprigs of myrtle and a creditron that loo like a large lemon. we hold all four and wave them and smell them and hear them. that gives us a nice feeling of being alive and in touch with our senses. five days ago on yom kippur, the day of atonement, we denied ourselves any sensory experiences. everything was thinking, sitting, and praying. sikut is just the opposite. it's an indulging of the senses. every one our senses is indulging when we enjoy the
8:55am
atmosphere and food and hear the sounds of the city our countryside in the rural area. people think religion is one aspect of life. no. it involves everything. there's just as much for physical and sensory experiences as there is couldn't plags and meditation. >> that's our program for now. i'm bob abernathy. you can follow us on twitter and facebook. there's much more on our website as well. you can comment on all our stories and share them. audio and video podcasts are also available. join us at pbs.org. as we leave you vietnamese catholic drummers performing at this year's marion days festival in carthage, missouri. ♪ ♪
8:56am
8:57am
8:58am
8:59am